Apfelkuchen (German Apple Cake) with Almond Apple Cake Variation

This recipe takes me back over 40 years when I lived in Germany. My landlady Mathilda would treat me to this pastry and one day I asked her for the recipe. She agreed to show me how to make it, if I taught her how to make American lemon meringue pie! So she taught me how to make it with her metric utensils while I recorded the amounts in equivalent U.S. weights and measures; then I reciprocated making the pie. We were each pleased for such a fun multi-national cooking session, and I have made this recipe ever since, especially in the fall/winter when many apples are in season. (See notation below and photo of an almond apple cake variation.)

Ingredients:

  • 3 large (or 4 medium) size cooking apples (I used Granny Smith)
  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 teaspoon lemon extract
  • 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • Dash of salt
  • 3/4 cup milk (whole, reduced fat or what’s on hand)
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins, divided
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar

Instructions:

  • Set oven to 350 degrees. Grease or spray a 9″ x 13″ baking dish and set aside (I used a glass oven-proof dish and I reduced the oven to 325 degrees to prevent scorching).
  • Pare apples and core. Cut large apples each into 6 segments, i.e., cut in half and cut each half into thirds. (Cut medium size apples into quarters.)
  • Beat the butter with granulated sugar creaming until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs and vanilla extract.
  • Add the flour, baking powder and salt alternately with the milk to the creamed mixure in 3 additions each.
  • Stir in half of the raisins.
  • Spread batter in prepared baking dish.
  • Arrange apple wedges throughout, pushing them down into batter. Sprinkle top with remaining half of raisins.
  • Bake 25-35 minutes til golden brown or until toothpick tests clean in center of cake.
  • Cool in the pan on wire rack.
  • To serve, sift powdered sugar over top of entire cake, or on top of individual servings.
  • NOTE: For a variation of flavors, try this Almond Apple Cake version (see last photo): Omit lemon extract and substitute 1/2 teaspoon almond extract. Omit raisins if desired. After baking drizzle a powdered sugar glaze over the top and sprinkle sliced almonds on top.

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Apfelkuchen (German Apple Cake) with Almond Apple Cake Variation